Former CM and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal celebrate his birthday with his brother Gurdas Badal and others at Badal village in Muktsar Sunday. (Express photo: Gurmeet Singh)
The Akali Dal patriarch and five-time Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal Sunday celebrated his 92nd birthday with his family and SAD workers at his residence in Badal village. Badal senior’s politically estranged brother, Gurdas Badal — who is the father of current state Finance Minister Manpreet Badal — was also part of the celebrations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah greeted the former Punjab Chief Minister on his birthday on Sunday.
Modi said Badal devoted his entire life towards the welfare of people. “Birthday greetings to one of India’s most respected statesmen, Shri Parkash Singh Badal Sahab. He has devoted his entire life towards the welfare of people. He has made a mark as an exceptional administrator. May Badal Sahab lead a long and healthy life,” Modi said in a tweet.
Shah said Badal’s struggle and devotion towards the welfare of people is an inspiration for all. “Wishing a very happy birthday to Shri Parkash Singh Badal ji, the patron of @Akali Dal and one of the most senior & respected leader in our country,” Shah tweeted.
“Badal Sahab’s struggle and devotion towards the welfare of people is an inspiration for all. I pray for his long and healthy life,” he said.
Badal’s son and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal said that his father was not just his hero, but a source of inspiration for countless Punjabis across the globe. In a post on his Facebook page, Sukhbir Singh Badal wrote, “Every son thinks his father is a hero. But I consider myself doubly blessed as my father is not just my hero but a source of inspiration for countless Punjabis across the globe”.
“I can never thank Gurusahib enough for blessing me with a father, guide, role model and friend all rolled into one. Wishing him a very happy birthday and praying for his long healthy and happy life,” wrote Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Sukhbir Singh Badal’s wife and Parkash Singh Badal’s daughter-in-law Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that the former chief minister’s will to carry everyone along is what makes him so special to people whose life he has touched. “Each day spent with him has been a lesson in humanity. His dedication, his service, his will to carry everyone along is what makes him so special to people whose life he has touched. Here’s wishing my biggest role model good health & lots of happiness for many more years to come,” Harsimrat Kaur Badal tweeted.
The brothers — Parkash Singh Badal and Gurdas Badal — cut two cakes together, although Gurdas Badal had celebrated his birthday in August. While Parkash Singh Badal turned 92 on Sunday, Gurdas had turned 88 years old in August. Irrespective of political differences between both families since 2011, Gurdas Badal and Parkash Singh Badal have been meeting each other on a regular basis. On Sunday, former CM gifted a framed picture of both brothers to Gurdas Badal after the cake cutting ceremony.
Parkash Singh Badal was also greeted by his well-wishers at his native village Badal. A lunch was hosted for constituency in-charges and other Akali leaders at Badal’s house to celebrate birthday. SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, his wife and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, their daughters were also present.
Former Punjab Minister Sikander Singh Maluka said,”We cannot forget the amount of growth Shiromani Akali Dal did under supervision of Badal Saab. We need his guidance always.”
Badal senior thanked all who had come to wish him. SAD leader Bikramjeet Singh Majithia, while wishing Badal, said, “From being youngest CM at 38, to being five-time Chief Minister of Punjab, Sardar Parkash Singh Badal Ji has won respect of Punjabis with his humility and passion to work for downtrodden. It is an honour to celebrate the birthday of smeone who is an inspiration for all of us. May he keep going strong.”
(WITH PTI INPUTS)